The Navy Midshipmen are expected to announce at some point Tuesday they'll be joining the Big East in 2015 for football only, expanding that conference to 11 members. That will end the nation's longest streak of football independence -- Navy's been independent longer than Notre Dame's been playing football, in fact.
Why wait until 2015? Based on comments made by Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk earlier in the process to CBS Sports, working through established, long-term television deals was likely one critical factor:
In 2013, the Big East is adding Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and UCF, Houston and SMU as all sports members, but Gladchuk previously said it was unlikely Navy could solve a myriad of its scheduling problems and television contracts in that short of time. Navy has games scheduled through 2017 and television contracts with CBS College Sports and CBS Sports (Navy-Army game) through 2018, Gladchuk said.
Navy football will join the Boise St. Broncos, Houston Cougars and others in creating a new, national Big East, though it remains to be seen whether they'll be joined by service academy brethren Air Force. Army has already said it's not interested in doing the whole joining-a-conference thing again.